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tv   Consider This  Al Jazeera  May 22, 2014 1:00am-2:01am EDT

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jail, i needed to cooperate... >> see what everybody's talking about the system works... says variety al jazeera' america presents, the system with joe burlinger >> more american troops are heading to africa to finder the kidnapped girls. the republicans might be able to skip the minority vote and still make it big in the mid terms. how colleges could be hurting a new generation of graduates. an rawnan video ha iranian video, celebrating happiness could be anything but. >> the search for 300 school
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girls kidnapped in nigeria. >> nigeria's fight against boko haram is a very challenging case. where. >> very alarming. >> justice department expected to release a report soon on drone strikes that killed four americans. >> allowing drone strikes to go forward that kill american citizens. >> these memos become historic precedent for killing americans abroad. >> high profile senate races in primaries held in six states on tuesday. >> it's about the kind of country we want. it's about restoring america. >> we begin with presidential support for embattled veterans affairs secretary, eric shinseki. staffers tried to cover up delayed treatments. president obama finally addressed the scandal and said
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shinseki will keep his job for now. >> i know that rick's attitude is if he does not think he can do a good job on this and if he thinks he has let our veterans down, i'm sure he is not going to be interested in continuing to serve. >> secretary of defense chuck hagel is also backing shinseki. >> i don't think it's started with general shinseki's term at the va. this should have been looked at years and years ago. but we missed i.t. >> he said there was a rush to judgment and isolated cases of hospitals covering up patients care. by tuesday, the ten hospitals covering up care had doubled 26. joining us today johnny damon by the pentagon by rear admiral
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john kirby. good to see you. >> thank you for having me, glad to be here. >> a lot of outrage about the va scandal. this should not have happened to anyone much less than people who put their lives on the line for their country. what kind of reaction from troops and families? anger at the pentagon? >> i'm not sensing anger at the pentagon but i am sensing deep concern about these allegations. to the degree that they are substantiated, we don't know yet, secretary hagel has said that would be outrageous, a disgrace to the veterans and to their families. the investigation is beginning. we need to let the facts take us where they take us and we'll look at it as we come to conclusion on it. but the nation has no other sacred obligation than to take
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care of the veterans and we at a that seriously at the pentagon. >> the veterans from our greatest generation, world war ii are certainly aging . secretary hagel said we missed it. how. >> those are the things we are trying to find out. to be honest antonio, how were things missed? this review is just starting. the secretary's point is issues with backlogs at the very east go well -- very least go well back if not a decade or more. so it's not like there wasn't some reiteration that we had some issues here at the va. but look, we here at the pentagon and department of defense are working closely with our counterparts at the veterans administration. ll of us as a team share a sense of urgency about getting this right.
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let's turn to nigeria. the pentagon announced there will be 80 troops going to help for the release of the girls. they're going to chad, where specifically and why there? >> i'm not going to get into the specific location in chad. we're glad for the government's access they're giving us. maintenance, personnel, operators of these unmanned systems to help us look for the girls. the whole mission riot now is to help find them. we don't know where they are right now. these u.s. men and women are going to support the actual aircraft that are going to be flying missions over the jungle to try to find them. go ahead. >> you just referred to unmanned planes. we had been using manned planes. are we not going to use anything other than unmanned for now? >> the president has made it
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clear we're going to do everything we can to help. you'll see us use a mix of assets, both manned and unmanned. the manned systems needed some maintenance and they're no longer used in the effort, but that doesn't mean that in the next few days they'll still get back to it. we'll use whatever we can to help. >> you spoke about how difficult this will be because this is a very difficult part of nigeria, that a search and rescue difficult. >> that's right. >> you said we don't know where the girls are. have we learned anything? have we gotten anything from our information so far? >> i wish i had better news for our viewers. truth is we don't know exactly where they are. we still believe they have been broken up into smaller groups, difficult to say how many groups and how many in each group. difficult to say if they're still in nigeria.
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very possible that some of them may be moved out of the country and some of them may still be in the country. this is dense junk jungle, it's a big big area and a big big challenge. >> president obama's letter notifying about the deployment of these troops, in furtherance of u.s. diplomas diplomacy interest. the geographical spread of their action he is growing. this is the largest africa economy and a big geographical area. >> i'll tell you it is important to remember we did designate boko haram as a northern terrorist
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are designation. they are a foreign terrorist group. very cruel, very inhumane. they don't just threaten our national interest, they threaten the national interest of those around them. be that is the threat we have been given and what we're working hard on. >> in your pentagon briefing on tuesday you say in a post benghazi world we must address issues that arise. libya at the edge of a civil war, in case the u.s. embassy in tripoli needs to be evacuated. where do things stand now? >> no change since i spoke to the media yesterday. marines and aircraft, prepositioned in sigonella, sicily, marine air-ground task
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force or a opponent o component. they are there to assist our embassy personnel in tripoli. right now, no request for that, the embassy is still open and operating. we learned a lot from benghazi and one of the lessons was, we do need to make sure we have forces that are agile quick and ready to respond in any case like this. >> what about the bigger picture inside libya? the report that general hafti, the opposition general, fieding fighting the forces that are there. hafta lived in virginia for a long time. is the pentagon in contact with him? >> not that i'm aware of, antonio. we urge all parties to stop the violence and to try to settle the differences there in a
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peaceful diplomatic way. it's not helping anybody, certainly not helping the libyan people to have all this fighting going on. but from a u.s. military point, we need to make sure the military is ready for those who need us. >> you are closely monitoring the ukraine-russian border in advance of the may 25th elections coming up there in ukraine. vladimir putin again said his forces are pulling back and on their bases by june 1st. any indications that is happening? >> not indications yet. we are still watching the situation very, very closely and monitoring it as you would expect we would but we haven't seen any major movements of troops from the border. if he did give that order, that is a welcome sign. those tens of thousands of russian troops that are arrayed on the other side of the ukrainian border to the south and the east have done nothing but help escalate the tension
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just by their mere presence so if they move back that's a welcome sign. we haven't seen it yets. >> -- yet. >> putin was in china this week where the chinese agreed to pay $400 billion for 30 years' supply of russian gas. that really seems to give putin a buffer against sanctions from the west and more power to shut off the gas to europe if he were so inclined. is there an indication that the russian and chinese seem to be rereaffirming their alliance against the united states? >> i don't have the details i will tell you this, though.that the moscow, president putin and his military forces and forces that he is controlling inside ukraine have done nothing but violate the territorial integrity of that country.
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and alarm allies and partners that we have in europe and again we just continue to call for the deescalation of that kind of tension. it doesn't help anybody for big nations to coerce and intimidate smaller nations and simply add to the instability of what should be, i mean this european continent should be a stable secure environment for all people. >> and talking about big nations and big nations the chinese aren't happy with us after members of their military were indicted this week on charges of cyber-speej. has ther -- cyberespionage. >> couple of points here. they have pulled out of a cyber-working group, regrettable, their position. but we want to create a more productive more constructive relationship with the chinese military. we have been working hard on that.
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general fong our counterpart was here last week, secretary hagel was here for very frank very direct discussions. we are still willing to work at that relationship. these indictments however demonstrate behavior and conduct by military members of the chinese military that are absolutely completely unhelpful to that. in fact criminal to that. these individuals were involved in the theft of intellectual property. and in trying to disrupt trade practices here in the united states. look, cyber is a new realm, it is the realm that we are trying to come to grips with conduct that we do not do ourselves. >> the chinese military have made some expansionist moves in the south china sea that have upsaid our allies the japanese and the philippine government.
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where do things stand there? >> look we don't stay a position on the individual disputed claims. we do take a position however on coercion and intimidation so we call all parties to work out these differences peacefully and according to international law. that was the message that secretary hagel sent and president obama cen president obama sent. >> admiral kirby thank you for being on the program to speak about all of them or most of them. >> thanks for having me. >> so much for integration costing the republicans. can the party win big without the help of minorities? plus our social media producer, hermela aregawi, what's trending? >> authorities have are arrested many on the charge of child pornography.
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you'll be shocked. i have the details next. >> al jazeera america presents the system with joe berlinger >> mandatory minimums are routinely used to coerce plea bargains >> mandatory minimums >> the whole goal is to reduce gun crime, now we've got people saying "this isn't fair"... >> does the punishment always fit the crime? >> had the person that murdered our daughter got the mandatory minimum, he wouldn't have been out. >> the system with joe burlinger only on al jazeera america
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>> the obama administration may face rough times ahead on the national security front. some civil liberties groups say they're outraged in the u.s.a. freedom act, a bill that the house is expected to vote on thursday, the administration has also been compelled by a federal appeals panel to release key portions of a classified memo that gave legal authority to the 2011 drone strike that killed al qaeda leader and american citizen anwal
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alaki. in yemen. jim as always good to see you. let's start with the nsa and this u.s.a. freedom act. critics say the bill has been watered down by the administration. what is the difference between the bill we have now, the bill they want and the bill that will likely reach the floor of the congress on thursday? >> the purpose was to ban all bulk collection of data from lawful americans and their telephone records. and the change is to introduce a qualifier to that. the new version of the bill says that the u.s. government will have to go to a fisa sa court, and have a search criteria, no longer is it collecting all data
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but a search term. the search for million of americans phone records. that all thing from the 1990s, it depends on what the definition of "is" is. how others interpret it. the core concern for civil liberties folks is the more you create vagueness in the law the more some president or some executive not today not tomorrow but five years from now ten years from now will be able to take advantage of that do what they want to do if the language is too vague. >> opponents are saying it's just too broad, the government could say it's limiting search to something as wide as a zip code and by limiting it in that massive way, that could allow records in that whole zip code to be examined. do you think it gives the nsa more latitude than it should have? >> it seems that way. i prefer
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more precise language. i'm a security person. we're not the the first to face terrorism. countries pass laws and what you find is those laws are easy to pass and difficult to pull back. when there are exceptions, eventually people are going to abuse that exception. we have in our own country the republican congressman who authored the patriot act and section 215 go onto the house floor and complain that was secretly interpreted in a way that twisted it in ways that never intended for congress that congress was going to allow. i think there's a real reason to be concerned about it but i do think this bill is an improvement over the status quo and this house version is going to have to go to committee in the senate. there's still some shoes to drop before this bill becomes law. >> there's some doubt whether
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this really cuts back or not. let's turn to the still secret memorandum that legally justified the killing of an american, anwar al aki, in yemen. this memo is going to be made public at some point. is it really a big deal? haven't we already heard the arguments as to why al laki deserved and the government was justified in killing him? >> that memo up to this point has been secret so whatever a government spokesman might say, what jay carney might say, at the end of the day, there have been four americans that have been killed by the u.s. government in this way. that's not a big number but the principle is fundamental to the u.s. government. a right to trial, a right to face our accusers, a right to see the evidence. and of course drones completely short circuit that.
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so i think it's a precious principle for democracy and worth fighting for and i think that's why the second circuit court has ruled they're not going to declassify whole thing but at least part of it that provides the legal justification for such an important decision. >> we've already seen this justice department white paper that talked about how and why the drone strike was justified. it says that the government said could use lethal force against an american citizen who was a senior leader of a al qaeda, but only once a high level official determines that the person is an imminent threat that capture is not feasible and the strike is consistent with the law of war. isn't that enough protection? >> you know i think that's pretty reasonable on the face of it. and as i say the number of americans who fall under that category is quite small. it's only been four people. imminence. there are many americans who
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have created great and horrible crimes, tantamount or worse than acts of terrorism and they still get their day in court. i don't think we should give up this issue easily. is apprehension really possible? we have brought terrorists to trial in new york and been convicted and served citizens. if we are going to err on the side, this is such a fundamental principle we need to err on the side of protectin protecting democracy t home. there are lots of ways to scare out an attempt to suppress and stop terrorism so there are lots of tools in that tool kit. we don't have to rely on drones to kill americans in most of those cases i don't think. >> so many national security issues. jim walsh, it's always good to thanks. >> thank you. >> turning from the politics of national security to electoral politics.
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funeral notices were posted for the tea party after mitch mcconnell and other members of the republican establishment won their primaries tuesday. meanwhile president obama tried to go on the offensive over the veterans administration scandal. nancy pelosi named five democrats to join the committee. new study suggested the gop could one big elections without much minority support at all. for more i'm joined by republican strategist leslie sanchez, was the director of the white house initiative for hispanic education from 2001 to 2003. months republicanos. leslie i'll start with you, and
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tuesday's primaries, so-called establishment republicans in iowa, kentucky, georgia, won handily, most moderate in that field of five there, it sure does seem as the establishment won and the tea party lost. >> people would like to write an owe bit wea obituary of the tea party. but if your so-called strategy is to be antiestablishment and you want to run on that as some type of katoken reformer it's not going to work. voters are much smarter than that. people that run as outsiders got in and didn't have the bona fides, and people are looking for trusted leadership that
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thinks outside the box and will also challenge the system. >> and michael, last march senator mcconnell said this about the tea party. i think we're going to crush them everywhere. but tuesday matt kibbe claimed that republicans and libertarians, are did the tea party lose the battle but win the war, in that it's made mainstream conservatives more attentive to their conservative base? >> you see the republicans courting the tea party base, which they so much need. in all four precincts, mcconnell just crushed matt bevin in kentucky last night. but to what we were just hearing with whether or not the tea party is dead whether there is a funeral, last week, the tea
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party won in a republican party, will presumably take mike johan's seat there. what you are saying antonio they are pulling people who are what we call mainstream or traditional, establishment, none of those words mean very much, they're republicans pulling to the right. we'll see about that. >> everyone was focused on, mcconnell is the majority leader in the senate. do you think kentucky democrats will have the potential to beat him in the general election? >> i certainly think he is vulnerable. one thing i thought was interesting politically anomalous last night, you saw more democrats come out and volt than republicans. race. if you imienl th -- combine the votes that are, they weren't
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really campaigning, they weren't financed, they weren't part of the democratic party, you saw many more democrats in a race that was not featuring the democrats came out to vote yesterday. that has to gives mcconnell pause. it's certainly interesting from where i'm sitting. there are more registered democrats in kentucky. it should gives mcconnell pause. >> more registered republicans? >> more registered democrats in kentucky than republicans. >> i thought obama lost kentucky by two percentage points. in 2012. is that wishful thinking for democrats? >> it's not a race to be taken likely but these are conservative democrats. these are democrats very concerned about fiscal responsibility, overspending and more appropriately, keeping your word. i think those are all great measures on which mcconnell is going to run on. the first thing you're seeing is a lot of distance in the ads
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that were running within 24 hours, trying to put a lot of distance as an independent voice in congress as opposed to walking lock-step with the president. there's a lot of challenges for the republicans here. >> president obama says he's not going to stand for it if it turns out that veterans administration buried vet rabs. not getting the va secretary's resignation just as he allowed kathleen sebelius to stay on after the obamacare debacle. >> it's not just republicans i think it's independents, it's republicans, democrats, everyone is looking at this with grave disappointment i think at the president's press conference today. harkens to president nixon saying he is not a crook at the
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height of the watergate scandal. a very difficult press conference for many to accept because they wanted to see more action taken immediately. not more reports, not more investigations but some serious steps to move this in the right direction. >> you know i just have -- to compare richard nixon saying i'm not a crook to barack obama today talking about the va, i can't sit here about commenting how absurd that is. the truth is the president has a management style that rankles, republicans, independents and democrats. sebelius was kept on and americans look back and say maybe that was the right move. it was a botched effort to roll that health care plan out and the website but because the president stuck with her probably expedited the curative effect there. we don't know about shinseki. this is a problem that goes back decades and decades.
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not a problem of the obama administration. >> very harsh about the bush administration and its actions with the veterans administration. it's surprising so little has been done in so long. want to get to one ore topic. leslie you wrote in forbes that while hispanics have favored democrats, republican senator marco rubio and ted cruz, hispanic officials to office how important do you see closing future? >> it is absolutely critical antonio. looking and identifying strong candidates, they are funding them and these individuals are winning general market races, they are not in certain minority-majority districts, they are winning statewide. that is tremendously important when you look at the fact republicans have seven of these either stayed wide or largely --
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statewide or largely elected candidates, elected officials versus the democrats, four, we're talking senators and representatives, you could community. there is still a 40 pert deficit what the hispanic vote does, not a monolithic vote, but you will see breakouts, latinos will vote for the party but still, very big challenge for republicans. >> on wednesday republicans blocked legislation for hispanics that were brought here as kids, given green cards and enrolled in mill 30 academies. new studies are showing that republicans could win national elections without that much minority support because many white voters might be drawn to majority.
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do you think republicans could win with the strategy that was based mostly on white voters? >> you know i think when you segment out the population it's never a winning strategy for either republican party. it was less than a year ago that phyllis schafly said we don't even need to court the hispanic vote, we don't need them. to what leslie is saying, they have done some things, they have to walk the walk, it's not ted cruz and coe rubio. their experience is not typical of the latin american experience in the united states, a cuban american experience vastly different and they are two spokespeople for the hispanic vote in the senate that she speaks to. but just very quickly. if you look at what the republicans have done, when you see these state laws in arizona in alabama in south carolina that go against what you know
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immigrants want, what hispanics want it becomes very problematic for them. it's a long road to go. >> new surveys do show that latinos do care much more about the immigration issue and immigration reform than the general public do. great to have you on the show. >> time to see what's on the website, checking in with hermella. >> antonio in a mass roundup on wednesday authorities arrested 71 people in the new york city area in charges related to child pornography. among those arrested a police officer, a police chief, a rabbi, a boy scout leader a little league coach and a paramedic. homeland security are special agent jim hayes says child pornography has reached epidemic proportion and addressed those accused. >> puts a lie tot classic
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stereotypical profile that offenders are nothing more than unemployed drifters. many are successful in their professional lives. >> a man who used hidden cameras to film his naked stepdaughter. the arrests were part of a five week investigation in which federal agents confiscated computers tablets smartphones and other devices. tens of thousands sexually explicit videos of children. officials are still going through that information so there could be more arrests. more about on the website at >> fast track, recent graduates are finding themselves in a bigger and bigger hole. they might not be getting what
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they pay for. also, the plight of airline passengers, why you face infestation before arrival.
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>> investigating a dark
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>> today's data dive may keep you healthy because flying can make you sick. researchers from the american society for microbiology found deadly bacteria can stay alive on your airplane seat for more than a week. they tested the life span of e. coli and me mersa. the more porous the surface the longer germs survived. mersa lasted up to a week, four days on the toilet handle. that's right, your seat is a better home for things that make you sick than what you press to flush the toilet. e. coli lasted less but still, on the seat. what you can get from what you touch, the air is also a problem because a sneeze from a fellow passenger can travel two seats in any direction.
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even worse, canadian researchers found air passengers are 113 times more likely than the general public to catch a cold flight. there are several reasons. recycled air that's very dry and the close proximity to other fliers around them. how do you stay healthy in flight? first bring antibacterial wipes to wine down the seat, don't touch your eyes. tear deducts are a primary route for germs into your nose and throat. don't use the pillow. you never know who used it before you. don't drink black tea, coffee or alcohol. they're interfere with your sleep. always try to get an exit row. and air
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conditioning could blow germs generosit outside of your air space. passengers get sick from just one passenger with the flu. iran calls for a more open
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is justice really for all? >> iranian authorities arrested six young people this week just because they made this youtube video dancing around to pharrell's song "happy." authorities called the video vulgar, forced the men and women on television, to confest their so-called criminal acts. the director is still in custody. this comes a time when oppressive governments around the globe are silencing dissenting voices. but as technology continues to develop can a government successfully censor the internet, jillian york, international director for
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expression of flee dom in the arab world and she formerly worked at harvard's burkeman center. iran is to put i it mildly, bizarre. president howf are rouhani he himself is very active on twitter and facebook but many of his people can't access these services. is iran going towards more internet freedom or are the iranian people in for censorship? >> it is hard to say. there is a discord between what president rouhani is saying. we would hope that the government would stick to its word and open up the internet, much more but for now doesn't seem very positive. >> how much of the this ask
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antiamericannism, the scuff to called facebook a. >> over the past decade into trying to get around iranian and chinese censorship primarily but also censorship in other countries to try to help people of those countries to circumvent censorship. the government is reacting to that, they see that as provocation. >> what about this "happy" video? the men and women were arrested because the women were unvailed, and -- unveiled. because then president rouhani tweeted on wednesday, happiness is our people's right. we shouldn't be too hard on pavers caused by joy. so why are other iranian authorities seemingly so threatened by people just dancing in a video?
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>> this is really disappointing me, that video sparked copy cats throughout the world and other muslim countries that accepted presence of them. it's hard to seize what there crack down was about, specifically over the unveiled women or a mimicking of the west but nevertheless that discord is once again apparent in rouhani's suite. >> they have created their own social media platforms, they black their own social media even western news and what they do is called the great fire wall of china. over the weekend the chinese government was talking about making the internet even more tightly controlled, citing cyber-attacks. is there aa way to get around this internet censorship? >> there are, the harmonization of the internet according to the chinese, about what they see is
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appropriate and blocking out what they see as inappropriate. there are a number of ways that people in china can circumvent censorship but much more difficulty there, than other occurrence, china is very adept at playing that cat and mouse game. many tools built in the u.s., such as the tour network to get around that censorship. >> is it easy to get around that censorship? i guess the tour network and the deep web? >> china is a difficult place for such a thing because the government is adept at catching up with these tools and blocking them. but in other areas these are easy to block and easy to use. if china catches up with them it is only a matter of time when iran and other places do as well. we need more of these tools not less. >> a
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cuban blogger launched the country's first independent outlet in more than 50 years, big internationally, has a big international following. but now she's trying to target a cuban audience and within hours it was gone inside cuba. >> depends on the country. cuba is an island. you can imagine it makes it easy to shut things down. in some countries it's a lot more difficult. in the u.s. for example if the government here wanted to block something they would have to go to each internet service provider, isp and block that content. >> venezuela cut off internet access during the protests in february at times. switch? >> it is in some places and it isn't in others. so it really depends on how centralized a network in a given country is. in syria it's a lot more centralized so we've seen the
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government there cut off internet access for hours at a time, days at a time for a couple of times during the war. egypt is a great example in 2011 when they shut down the internet they actually had to go to the different companies the internet service providers and demand them to shut down their services. >> i don't think 9 is surprised by iran china cuba tightening internet expression but turkey, prime minister erdowan, and a place that wants to be part of the european union. >> it's not just turkey, in turkey's case it was interesting, one of the things they did is tried to go to twitter, the company based in the united states and demand that they block certain types of content.
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in some cases twitter did comply with those orders. so i think what we're seeing here is a rise in censorship around the world and an increase in the willingness of american companies to be explicit in that censor -- to be come explicit. complicit. >> thank you for being here. >> thank you for having the show may be over but the conversation continues. we'll see you next time. >> every saturday join us for exclusive, revealing, and surprising talks with the most interesting people of our time. abe foxman >> we'll fight for your right to be a bigot. if you are a bigot, you're gonna pay a price... >> holocaust survivor and head of the ant-defamation league.
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>> there's an awful lot of hatred floating out there... >> and ending discrimination >> long as the children aren't educated, it's gonna maintain... >> talk to al jazeera only on al jazeera america >> two of america's biggest global rivals just joined forces. i'll tell you how china and russia's gas deal flies in the face of u.s. political goals and i'm bringing on sandy berger for his take. also forget the minimum wage debate, the stagnant middle class wages may be the big "e" problem, and i'll show you how philadelphia is trying to lure middle class families back to the city. plus how to brew up a billion a million ll